Following a decidedly quiet afternoon and early evening by the Denver Broncos to kick off the NFL’s legal tampering period, things seemingly have begun to heat up for the club.
Just after the Broncos agreed on a three-year, $33 million deal to sign former Houston Texans defensive back Kareem Jackson, Denver inked former Miami Dolphins right tackle Ja’Wuan James to a four-year deal, $52 million deal, with $32 million guaranteed, per ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The deal will make James the highest paid right tackle in the NFL.
Upon hearing the news late Monday, 104.3 The Fan host Orlando Franklin said he “loved” the move.
“(James) was the second-best tackle on the market and was drafted by the Dolphins, where (Broncos) assistant coach Chris Kuper has been the past few years,” Franklin said, adding Denver likely would not have targeted the right tackle had Kuper not “put the stamp of approval on it.”
James, who turns 27 in June, has spent his entire five-year NFL career with Miami after the Dolphins selected him in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
A starter since his rookie season, James did miss nine games in 2015 and eight games in 2017 due to injury. He missed one game this past season with a knee injury.
According to Pro Football Focus, James ranked as the 34th-best tackle in the NFL (both left and right), grading out just behind New England Patriots left tackle Trent Brown — who signed a record contract for left tackles with the Oakland Raiders on Monday — and just ahead of Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles.
Denver 7 Broncos Insider Troy Renck reported this past April that the Broncos nearly had a deal in place to acquire James in exchange for running back C.J. Anderson, but Miami nixed the deal.
With the deal, Denver appears unlikely to re-sign unrestricted free agents Billy Turner and Jared Veldheer, both of which started at right tackle for the club in 2018.
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
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